Evil or Evolution: a Study of Stevenson’s the Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

994 Words Mar 25th, 2011 4 Pages
Evil or Evolution: A Study of Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
First published in 1885, Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a story about a distinguished Victorian doctor, Henry Jekyll, who discovers a way to transform himself into another persona, Edward Hyde, who unlocks or amplifies thoughts, feelings, and desires not normally expressed by Dr. Jekyll but are the norm for Mr. Hyde. A scene of the text will be analyzed. A comparison will be made as to the motives of Hyde’s actions between Darwin’s theory of evolution and an evil nature as described in the Holy Bible. Both of these were hot topics of culture in the Victorian era as Darwin’s views were starting to challenge the Bible as the
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For the sake of this writing, let’s define evil as characteristics that contrast both the Ten Commandments in the book of Exodus and those of Jesus of Nazareth in the four Gospels of the New Testament of the Holy Bible.
If we look at the first scene where the Hyde character is mentioned, we’ll see a mix of attributes that could be interpreted many ways. He runs into a little girl at a corner and tramples right over her and keeps on going. He is soon apprehended and forced to pay a sum to the family as somewhat of a civil settlement. “For the man trampled calmly over the child’s body and left her screaming on the ground. […] It wasn’t like a man; it was something of a damned Juggernaut.”(pg.3)
It’s obvious that Hyde is not an ordinary Victorian gentleman like many of the other characters in the book. It seems like the incident is a mere mistake. Hyde looks to have been concerned, at a minimum for his own reputation, because he stays with the family until morning when the settlement check clears.
The effect Hyde had on the by standers was most odd. There was an unexplainable aura about him, emanating to those nearby that either terrified those around him or was contagious and made others want to lash out in rage. “But the doctor’s case was what struck me. He was the usual cut and dry apothecary, of no particular age and colour, with a strong Edinburgh accent, and about as emotional as a bagpipe. Well, sir, he was like the rest of us: every time he

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